“They all flipped districts like this one,” said Foster, seated in a coffeehouse in Mason.
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Foster, who ran unsuccessfully against State Rep. Paul Zeltwanger in 2018, has to overcome Schroder’s larger campaign war chest ($730,000 to $450,00 so far, according to the campaigns) and the fact that the vast majority of the Democrats in district comprising all of Warren County and Western Hamilton, live on Cincinati’s west side.
Schroder is an admitted data nerd and 5th generation Cincinnatian in her first run for public office after working on numerous other campaigns.
She cited projections from the GQR research firm indicating 80 percent of Democratic voters in the coming election would come from the Hamilton County section of the gerrymandered district.
“To win this district you’ve got to be in all parts of it,” she said, adding she had been at a recent house party event on Foster’s home turf.
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In addition, Schroder, a member of the Cincinnati Board of Health who holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, said 11 of 41 seats flipped in 2018, 11 were more Republican.
Voters are ready to look beyond party affiliation, she said. “People are looking for someone who’s authentic, can connect with them, has a low ego and gets things done.”
Foster was an All American rugby player at the Air Force Academy and is on leave from a contract administration job with General Electric. She suggested voters should back her because she comes from less affluent beginnings and, as the daughter of immigrants, better recognizes the plight of people struggling to make ends meet.
“We know what families are going through.” Foster said. “They are not getting ahead.”
Both are married with children and looking to women to help power them to victory. Each lists improving health care and helping veterans as a key issue.
Schroder’s endorsements include the Hamilton County Democratic Party and Cincinnati Democratic leaders.
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Foster, who holds a master’s degree in diplomacy from Norwich University, said she helped found the Mason-Deerfield Democrat Club and learned from her youngest child’s serious heart condition.
With military veterans, voters look past party designation, she said. “They don’t care what letter you have next to your name.”
Bethe Goldenfield, chairman of the Warren County Democratic Party, confirmed the county party was not endorsing in this race.
“I think we have two fantastic candidates,” Goldenfield said. “It’s going to all come down to turnout.”
Chabot is already fighting back.
“Both of my Democratic opponents are already airing television ads distracting from their radical positions in favor of a government takeover of health care and extreme policies like the Green New Deal,” he said in a recent email solicitation for campaign contributions.
MORE: Political reporting in Dayton Daily News
Voters who want to get their ballots in before primary Election Day on March 17 can vote absentee by mail or in person at their county board of elections offices.
The deadline to request absentee mail ballots is three days before the election, or March 14. Absentee ballots must be signed. Absentee ballots that are mailed must be postmarked by the day before the election to be counted, or they can be returned in-person at the county board of elections before polls close at 7:30 p.m. on Election Day. (Do not take the ballot to a polling place.)
Early voting hours are the same in all counties:
‒ 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday, March 9, to Friday, March 13
‒ 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 14
‒ 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 15
‒ 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, March 16